Reversible work function changes induced by photoisomerization of asymmetric azobenzene dithiol self-assembled monolayers on gold

Ah Qune, Lloyd F. N.; Akiyama, H.; Nagahiro, T.; Tamada, K.; Wee, Andrew T. S.
August 2008
Applied Physics Letters;8/25/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 8, p083109
Academic Journal
We measured reversible changes in the work function (Δ[lowercase_phi_synonym]Au) of gold substrates modified by asymmetric azobenzene dithiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) following photoisomerization and thermal recovery of the azo unit. The azobenzene derivative SAMs were photoisomerized to cis form by UV irradiation. Δ[lowercase_phi_synonym]Au was monitored in real time during thermal recovery to trans form by ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy using a synchrotron light source. Changing the substituted functional group in the p′ position of the azobenzene from electron donating to electron withdrawing resulted in opposite responses of Δ[lowercase_phi_synonym]Au against photoisomerization. Hence, a direct correlation between Δ[lowercase_phi_synonym]Au and changes in molecular dipole moments was obtained.


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